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5 must-have Apps for the Travelling Professional

Business involves a lot of travelling for different reasons. It could start out as looking for prospective clients, speaking to investors and even hiring employees. As the business grows it could be for conferences.
All the travelling, even though for business, will keep you out of touch with what is happening on the ground. This is where technology comes in handy. The following iPhone apps help you streamline all aspects of your life as a small business owner.

OpenTable

You have to eat to keep your energy levels up. This app allows you to make meal reservations. All you need to do is input the number of people the meal is for and the time you want to have the meal. You can easily get a table for as long as there is one available and you can also make cancellations with little fuss.

Mint

This helps you keep track of your finances from a distance. You do not have to keep to the bank’s schedule to know what is happening in your bank account.

Yelp

You can easily find the nearest restaurants, gas stations, entertainment spots and shops using this app. This will save you time when in a new place.

HopStop

This app shows you the local public transport systemso you are able to travel like the locals and at reduced prices without having to ask around for the best deals.

Skype

Talk to friends, family and business colleagues as well using your phone’s data network. Free Wi-Fi in your hotel can also work so your phone bill will reduce greatly.

What the New Year Means to Your Business

When the New Year starts, most people tend to spend most of their time reflecting on the previous year. Reflecting on the previous year allows you to remember both the successes and mistakes you may have done. Such an evaluation gives you a platform for improvements in the New Year. Here are the tips to help you accomplish great things in your business in 2014.

Set New Goals

The start of a New Year is the best time to focus and set some goals for your business. This may include increasing revenue, expansion, or maintaining profits. Regardless of your goals, studies show that it’s essential to write down the objectives. You are likely to achieve the goals that you write down

Adjust Your Offerings

If you had plans to change your offers but didn’t have the guts to do this, you can do that in the New Year! Although you wouldn’t want to neglect important aspects of your business, the start of the year is the right time to tweak your business model or refresh your offers. Customers expect businesses to stay current. Therefore, if you don’t move with the flow, you may lag behind.

Reward Your Employees

This is the best time to prove to your employees, vendors, or contractors that you appreciate their work. The connections you establish in the industry will be long-term. You can choose to gift your employees with a paid leave or holiday bonus. This is the ideal time to reward your employees for their work.
The start of a New Year is not a magical time to establish all your career goals. However, it is provides the prime opportunity to put in place any changes you have planning though not yet implemented.
Use this time to soak fully into professional rejuvenation and boost your business.

How to Make the Most of Holidays at Your Small Business

One of the challenges faced by small business owners is the inability to develop content for marketing their services or products. If you are a businessperson and your company is still developing, it is seldom to have a marketing budget with you. However, it is still possible to market your services or products effectively on your own.
Recently, we were celebrating the Christmas and New Year holidays and such moments create an environment for engaging and creative marketing strategies. Leverage all holidays whether they relate to your business directly or not, and use them as opportunities for promotion.
You can leverage a holiday to drive sales in these three ways:

Provide customer specials

When a company offers deals to its existing customers, it enables them to consider continuing with the services offered by the company. While you can provide deals at any day of the year, it feels fleeting and special when you do this during a holiday.

Spice up your marketing materials

During the holiday, freshen up the existing pamphlets, brochures, and logos. Use holiday-specific colors, fonts and themes to spice them up. For instance, in October, you can reach out to your customers using Halloween-themed emails that offer “scary” discounted prices on most of your services.

Entice the prospective clients

Leverage a holiday such as New Year or Easter to reach out to a new audience. Start a blog, create a social media page, or set up Facebook ads to pull a new crowd.
Take every holiday as an opportunity to do something new. Set up your holiday calendar at the beginning of every year. This will give you enough time to prepare for every essential date.
Any holiday is a great way to be active on social media, enlighten your future and current customers about your company, and make your brand outstanding.

How You Can Optimize Client Retention

In the modern day, there is stiff competition to keep customers satisfied. Small business owners usually try to create new ways of keeping their customers happy by offering promo codes and deals in addition to using social media platforms. However, frantically using new strategies to compete in your industry can be futile.
Businesses should consider certain basic human elements if they want to understand and retain customers.

People prefer the status quo

It may seem like to keep your customers happy; you should regularly mix things up. However, for most people, constantly changing your services can be confusing. Therefore, companies will hold to what they like and know instead of seeking something new.
Of course, you can recommend new services or products if you think they can suit a certain client, but don’t go beyond that.

Assume everyone is lazy

Create improvements that will benefit the customer and those that require little effort from them. Therefore, if you choose to make any improvements to your offerings, stick with what will make things much easier for your clients. Humans are generally lazy and tend to look for the most efficient and quickest way to do something.

Peer pressure motivates

Do you want clients to keep coming for more? Make it known to them that you’ve other happier clients. This is because peer pressure will keep customers motivated in your business. Therefore, add testimonials to your website as proof of happy customers.
In addition, use the social media to improve visibility. Encourage buzz around your offerings. When customers see activity on Twitter or Facebook, they are likely to like, share or comment on the company’s updates.
Of course, there’re other ways that companies can use to keep their customers loyal and happy, but using these three can enable you to craft a business model around great human aspects.

Ways to Grow Your Business the Old Fashioned Way

In the modern day, you can easily depend on online resources and effective marketing strategies to bring new customers and promote sales. However, the traditional techniques for owning and running a business are equally effective and successful.

Receive phone calls

It is good to integrate phone calls into your marketing plans. For instance, call up prospects and introduce them to a product.
Talk with your clients frequently on phone just to hear their views and gauge their level of satisfaction with your service. Rather than email a question, ask it directly through the phone. In addition to saving time, phone calls will eventually save your business money.

Meet face to face

In the same way telephone communication can show your clients how much you value your business, face-to-face meetings can impact the way they perceive you as a professional. As you step out to conferences, meet-up, and other industrial events, you’ll be exposed to more networking opportunities than just twitter chats and discussion forums.
So, get out and interact with fellow members of the industry. It’s an opportunity to share more about your business, prove yourself as sociable and a likeable person worthy to work with.

Under-promise and then over-deliver

Typically, modern companies use technology to aid them cut corners. Rather than investing their energy and time into projects, they outsource or automate their projects. Now, do the exact opposite; use time more efficiently but ensure the client feels appreciated and valued. Do excellent work.

Appreciate your clients

Ultimately, clients are your greatest asset. Your business model won’t make any sense if no one buys your service or product. Therefore, reach out to your clients just once a year to thank them for doing business with you and for their loyalty. You can send them a New Year’s note or holiday card letter.

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